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Good News for Pregnant Women With Psoriatic Arthritis

When psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients become pregnant, they do not have more infertility or adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with healthy controls, a recent study found.

This study is relevant as the average onset age of PsA ranges between the fourth and sixth decades of life, and therefore includes a period of child-bearing potential.

Researchers from Tel Aviv and Toronto employed a questionnaire-based study, including demographic, fertility, pregnancy outcome, and disease activity questions, in PsA patients and healthy controls. The inclusion criterion was diagnosis of PsA before at least one pregnancy.

A total of 74 PsA patients and 74 healthy controls were studied and included 151 pregnancies in PsA and 189 pregnancies in controls. Both groups had similar baseline demographic characteristics.

Overall, they found no differences with regard to:

  • Mean number of pregnancies, children, and infertility diagnoses
  • Live births: 76% vs 76% (P=0.3)
  • Vaginal deliveries: 48% vs 51% (P=0.6)
  • Gestation age: 38.5 vs 38.3 (P=0.3)
  • Infant weight at birth: 3.4 kg vs 3.4 kg (P=0.5)
  • Rates of maternal and fetal complications
  • Duration and rate of breastfeeding

More than half of PsA patients (58%) reported favorable joint activity during pregnancy, and 50% reported worsening during the first postpartum year. These data are encouraging for women with PsA planning to become pregnant.

Jack Cush, MD, is the director of clinical rheumatology at the Baylor Research Institute and a professor of medicine and rheumatology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He is the executive editor of A version of this article first appeared on RheumNow, a news, information, and commentary site dedicated to the field of rheumatology. Register to receive their free rheumatology newsletter.